Maturity is a state of mind, a way of thinking. The maturity of an individual increases in a continuous process through experiences, knowledge gain, reflection and introspection. Here are five personality traits of a matured person.
1. Employing proactive solutions.
People who view life through a child’s mind feel powerless over certain aspects of life if not all of it—and bonded to poor decisions. The hallmark of a mature individual is able to affect change, to dig yourself out. Barring uncontrollable circumstances, such as a cancer diagnosis or getting rear-ended in traffic, we all have some power to change our life situations. Immature people stay in bad ones, armed with a litany of feeble excuses. Mature adults find a way out of them.
2. Sensible boundaries.
According to Psychology Today, another trait of maturity is acting in one’s own best interests. To do this, you must have boundaries. Establishing sensible boundaries can be tricky because you must balance your need to self-preserve with others’ needs and expectations. It’s also challenging because we’ve been taught that selfishness is never a virtue. If you have low/no boundaries, any ridiculous thing someone expects from you will seem acceptable. If your boundaries are too guarded, you’ll assume that everyone has an agenda. You have to know which expectations are reasonable and which are unreasonable—and in particular, when you’re simply being used or using someone else.
I’m surprised that this hasn’t warranted a mention. Maturity begins with being able to take care of yourself, independent of others. If you can’t put a roof over your head, food on the table, and pay your own way, you are not an adult—you are effectively a child. An adult dependent. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to those who may be profoundly disabled and need assistance from others, or those who are temporarily unemployed, not by their own volition. But if you’re healthy and can remain upright and thinking, being able to pay your own way through life is a must.
4. Theory of Mind.
This is being able to see things from another person’s point of view. Theory of mind is the wellspring of compassion and empathy. Mature people are not married to their own morals and values; they accept that there are others in the world who hold different belief systems. Unless those beliefs pose a hazard to humanity at large, stripping people of their individual rights (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness), they should be respected.
5. Personal accountability.
This is a huge one for me. Children, caught in the tailspin of their own ids, loathe admitting when they’re wrong. Mature adults can readily admit when they are wrong, or when they made a mistake or tragic error in thinking without having to blame someone else. Sometimes we’re just total assholes. Sometimes we make bad choices. We do that, because we’re human. But whenever we inflict harm on another (or ourselves), we are accountable, and no one else. (Also, never trust anyone who cannot summon up a sincere apology.)
By Melissa Myer on Quora